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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So Much to be Thankful for!

I can't help it. . .I absolutely love this time of year.  Autumn at about 4000 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is just beautiful.  More colorful than you might expect and full of fresh, crisp alpine air and enticing autumnal smells, the atmosphere is delicious.  I love where I live.

But gorgeous mountain surroundings are hardly what I REALLY have to be thankful for: my beautiful family, my precious friends, a fantastic church family, and a loving God definitely top the list.  I am blessed, not with perfection or lack of struggles, but with love.  I know this, and I value it deeply

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Making Home Made Buttermilk!

I have always loved buttermilk.  My mom used to drink it straight in the summer to keep cool (that's a scientific fact!) and my grandmother made the most delicious buttermilk frosting among other things (also a verifiable fact!  :) ).  It was a staple in our house for baking, dressings, marinating 'oven fried chicken' and even for skin treatments.  I don't know if I ever opened the fridge without seeing a small pitcher there on the upper right shelf.

Only recently did I make the connection that it was a PITCHER instead of a carton. My family never bought buttermilk.  They made it.

Of course, we're talking about cultured buttermilk here, which is what most people think of nowadays when you say the word.  Traditional buttermilk is the very thin, watery liquid left over from the process of making butter (it's also wonderful for baking and a nice little drink on its own!).

Cultured buttermilk, on the other hand, is what you find in stores today: rich, thick, tangy sunshine.  Kind of like drinking liquidy yogurt. Yum.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Making Home Made Dishwasher Detergent

Simple, Easy Ingredients

My Pastor’s wife recently said she had tried my home made laundry detergent (http://blog.mylittleprairiehome.com/2013/10/making-homemade-laundry-detergent-soap.html ) but was now really looking for an inexpensive home made dishwasher detergent.  I knew I had some recipes somewhere, so I promised her I would root them out for her.  There are three in particular that work pretty darn well and all of them are less than .10 per load (YAY!!!):

Monday, November 18, 2013

Smoking on the Prairie

Smoker Loaded with Jerky, Salt & Garlic
Well, I’ve already ‘outed’ myself as a rabid Laura Ingalls Wilder fan. . .I might as well come completely clean on all fronts. Prepare yourself for this shocker! I smoke. Rampantly, unabashedly. . .and every single thing I can get my hands on!

Betcha didn’t think you’d ever learn that about ME, now didja? The truth is, I’ve smoked from a very young age. . .all my family were smokers, so it was just a natural progression for me: diapers, walking, talking, then smoking! We’re referring to smoking foods here, of course! (you probably already figured that out, though, right?!)

It was harder, back then, to do it properly, but I started small and worked my way up. I didn’t gravitate toward the harder, more complex items, which were trickier to prepare and took much longer to smoke. I stuck with things you could quickly season and slap in the smoker for a relatively short period of time. I think my first attempt was venison jerky. Or maybe trout fillets. I don’t remember, but I was certainly hooked!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Real Life Pioneers: Andrew Jackson Elsbree (1828-1914)

We here at My Little Prairie Home thought it would be interesting to write about some real-life pioneers, especially those in our own family. We happen to have a professional genealogist on staff (Ian Feavearyear!), and we have asked him to contribute an occasional blog expanding on a Real Life Pioneer found somewhere in our own personal lineage. Sound fun?  We thought so, too!

A.J. Elsbree and his faithful "Rover"
So, without further ado, the subject of today's Real Life Pioneers is Robynne Miller's great-great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Elsbree, who was a pioneer of the city of Sonora, Tuolumne County, California.  Take it away, Ian!

Friday, November 08, 2013

My Name is Robynne, and I’m a Laura Ingalls Wilder –aholic!

Robynne
I’ve been carefully watching the reactions of my family and friends as they have perused my new website (mylittleprairiehome.com).  To be honest, I had no idea how my, um, slight obsession would be received. Of course, everyone has had their suspicions all along, but certainly no one realized the extent of my passion.  Until now, of course. . .it’s kind of all out there on full display! 

So, I guess it’s time to just call a spade a spade:

My name is Robynne, and I am a full-blown, no-holds-barred, from-the-top-of-my-head-to-the-tips-of-my-toes rabid fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder!

Whew!  There, I said it, and I'm not taking it back!

(Feels kind of good to be out of the prairie water-closet!)

Monday, November 04, 2013

A Legion of Fans. . .

We’ve only just launched this website and blog. Very early days yet. So, really, I should be focused on doing all the things I let slide while preparing for the launch. But, less than a month in, I am already glued to the plethora of stats we glean from various sources. I am not really sure what fuels such curiosity, but I am absolutely fascinated by what keeps rolling in.

I love seeing the referring websites and how people find us, especially after a Google or Yahoo search that seems totally unrelated to the content of our site. I love seeing what pages or blogs are most read or pinned or shared. I love wondering about the people who come and whether they share my particular passion for all things pioneer, homesteading and, yes, even Laura Ingalls Wilder. It all makes me marvel and think and dream.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Clarifying Pork Fat . . . Yee-Haw!

I think I am what is termed a ‘tactile learner.’  I can follow verbal and written directions well enough, but I think that, if given a choice, I would rather have someone show me how to do something once than to hear or read about it for hours.  That’s just how I roll.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not alone.
© 2013, Robynne Elizabeth Miller. All Rights Reserved.
My Little Prairie Home™ is a trademark of Robynne Elizabeth Miller
Forest image courtesy of xedos4/FreeDigitalPhotos.net